A music area is used to contain one or more staff lines, each containing bar lines, notes and other required musical symbols to create a score.
Music areas can be created manually from the Insert menu, however due to the complex number of options and infinite variability in how these can be laid, it is strongly recommended to generate the main music area on any page.
The user can control the base point size used for drawing and printing all the symbols in a area form the Format -> Music menu option. Please note setting the point size is a change to how the user wants the score displayed and printed, i.e. the contents are drawn smaller larger according to the point size, as opposed to zooming the page which is used to temporarily achieve finer control over note placement or better visibility on small screens.
Each Music Area contains one or more Staff Lines on which the music is laid out. Adding or removing staff lines from the music area can be achieved using the menu options available at Format -> Music, or additional staff lines from the Insert menu. For speed of editing the keystrokes below are also available.
|Ctrl-i||Inserts staff line before line containing the cursor|
|Ctrl-k||Appends a staff line below line containing the cursor|
|Ctrl-o||Deletes staff line containing the cursor, including all notes and bars on that line|
Click (or tab) inside a music area and a flashing cursor becomes visible indicating where the next note will be inserted. The arrow keys move the cursor one unit in each direction,e.g. the up arrow moves the cursor up one staff line, the right arrow moves the cursor one step along the staff line.
Each horizontal step on a staff line is 1/72nd of an inch, at an actual size zoom. If the score is zoomed to 200% then each step is 1/36 of an inch. As can be seen by this, some very fine control over placement of notes can be achieved by using the zoom feature.
The Backspace key has a special function when there's no selection in a music area. The backspace key will cause the caret to move to the right hand edge of the note immediately to it's left, i.e. moves the caret backwards to just after the first note it finds. Pressing Backspace again, whilst the caret is placed immediately to the right of a note has the effect of selecting that note and moving the caret to left hand side of the note. If the user presses Backspace at this point, the note will be deleted, as defined below in the selection keystroke actions.
This means the backspace key can be used to skip backwards along a line positioning itself and deleting notes on the way. If there are no prior notes on the line the caret will be moved to the start of the line. If the caret is already at the start of the line it moves up the prior line and positions itself just after the last note on that line.
The above description applies equally to bar lines if Edit -> Bar is ticked, and may exclude notes if Bar -> Notes is unticked, this would be the case for example if the user wanted to delete only bar lines using the backspace key as perhaps new ones are to be entered aligned differently.
While editing a music area, the space bar can be used to move to the next bar line. The cursor is placed at the start of the first note in the next bar, if the next bar is empty it's placed at the very start of the bar. This means that when the next bar line is the last one on the line, and the next line has space for an anacrusis which isn't used, the cursor stays on the bar line at the end of that line. If there is an anacrusis, the cursor is placed at the start of it's first note.
Each music area contains a caret, or cursor, which indicates where new notes, bars or other items will be inserted. Every item that appears on a staff line can be entered using the buttons on the toolbox or, for the more advanced user with a single keystroke, similar in the way text is added when typing a new paragraph or characters in a word processor.When a new note is typed, the cursor moves the appropriate distance along the staff line, as determined by the duration of the note just typed. This positions the cursor in the correct relative position for the next note. This smart spacing feature can be disabled as preferred in the options tab in the properties settings accessed using the File->Properties menu item.
|Keystroke||Value||On It's Own||With Shift||With Ctrl|
|a||Semibreve||Left Hand||Right Hand||Rest|
|s||Minim||Left Hand||Right Hand||Rest|
|d||Crotchet||Left Hand||Right Hand||Rest|
|f||Quaver||Left Hand||Right Hand||Rest|
|g||Semiquaver||Left Hand||Right Hand||Rest|
|h||Demisemiquaver||Left Hand||Right Hand||Rest|
|q||Open double repeat bar|
|w||Open double bar|
|e||Single bar line|
|o||Close double bar|
|p||Close double repeat bar|
|shift-t||Open dialog to insert time signature|
Any items on a staff line can be selected using actions familiar to word processor users. Either using the shift and arrow keys to select in the direction away from the current caret position, or using click and drag gestures with the mouse. Also, a single click while the shift key is held down will result in all items between the caret and click position to become selected.
A user can control which types of items on a staff line are selected with the above processes by using the Edit->Bars and Edit->Notes options on the main menu. If the Notes option is ticked, then select actions will apply to notes and rests, and if the Bars option is ticked bars and other items will also be selected. This is a useful feature if a user has spent time creating a custom layout of bars and wants to avoid inadvertently moving bar markers when manipulating notes. When the generator is used to create a score layout, the Bars option is automatically unticked.
When shift and arrow is used to move the end of the selection area to include the next note along, the caret is left at the end of the note in the direction of the arrow. Meaning if the user selects from the right using the short and arrow key combinations, the caret is left positioned exactly at the place the left most selected note starts. This can be useful for inserting or pasting notes in exactly that position on different lines, helping with complete alignment.
Once items on a staff line are selected a number of actions can be performed on the selection, once again using either the associated buttons on the toolbox, or for advanced speed a single keystroke. Many of the more advanced features are only available by keystroke, for example shift-u and shift-l.
|Shift-k||switches hands on selected note(s)|
|u||toggles whether selected note(s) are marked as unison or not|
|Shift-u||toggles whether unison in selected note(s) is marked as short|
|y||toggles whether selected note(s) are accented or not|
|Shift-y||toggles whether selected note(s) are light accented or not, i.e. vertical accent sign|
|r||toggles whether selected note(s) are rolls or not|
|shift-r||override that cycles through number of strikes through a stem for rolls|
|t||toggles whether selected note(s) are bound with a tie or not|
|shift-b||toggles whether the selected note(s) are backstick or not|
|shift-m||double the duration of the selected note(s)|
|shift-n||halves the duration of the selected note(s)|
|ctrl-t||toggles whether selected item has a text tag or not|
|2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9||toggles whether selected note(s) are in an irregular grouping as defined by the number typed|
|l||toggles whether selected note(s) have their note tails beamed or not|
|Shift-l||toggles whether selected note should only have a single tail line backspaced|
|z||toggles whether selected note(s) have a flam grace note or not|
|x||toggles whether selected note(s) have drag grace notes or not|
|c||toggles whether selected note(s) have open drag grace notes or not|
|v||toggles whether selected note(s) have swiss rough grace notes or not|
|b||toggles whether selected note(s) have rough grace notes or not|
|alt-b||runs beautify across the music area, laying out notes and rests according to a built in formula (studio edition only)|
|.||(dot key) toggles whether selected note(s) are dotted or not, note if an even number of notes are selected, it will dot the first and cut the second in each pair of notes|
|shift-.||(shift and dot key) toggles whether the selected note(s) are treated as double dotted or not|
|-||(hyphen, or dash key) toggles whether the selected note(s) are treated as cut or not, note if an even number of notes are selected, it will cut the first and dot the second in each pair of notes|
|Shift-0, 1, 2,3,4,5||toggles whether selected note(s) are highlighted with pen 0 thru 5 as appropriate or not|
|k||if more than one note is selected this toggles whether selected note(s) are crescendo or not, if only a single note is selected this creates a tie to the end of bar for those roll to nowhere situatons|
|m||toggles whether selected note(s) are diminuendo or not|
|Del||deletes current selection|
|Backspace||deletes current selection|
|Esc||cancels current selection|
|Shift-Alt- Right, Left, Up, Down Arrow||nudges the selection one unit in appropriate direction on a Mac|
|Shift-Ctrl- Right, Left, Up, Down Arrow||nudges the selection one unit in appropriate direction on a Windows PC|
|Cmd-A, C, V, X||Selects, Copies, Pastes, Cuts all notes in the music area on a Mac|
|Ctrl-A, C, V, X||Selects, copies, pastes and cuts selection on a Windows PC|
Text can be attached to each note, rest or bar line (i.e. any element) on a staff. Select the element that is to have the text attached to it and use ctrl-t to add or delete the text entry. The advantage of text tags in the music area as opposed to the current ability to add text areas anywhere on the page is that they stay aligned with the element they're attached to. This means when an additional staff line is added or removed, the text tag moves with the note, rest or bar line it's attached to. Similarly if you move that element along the staff line, cut, copy or paste it, the text moves with it.
A text tag can be aligned horizontally around the element it's attached to. By clicking inside the text tag and using the Format -> Text menu, all the text formatting options can be applied. By selecting Align Left, the text tag starts with the first character above the element. Selecting Align Right causes the text tag to finish above the element. Align Centre does as expected, with the text tag centred over the element.
The text is styled using the same menu options, once again click inside the text tag and use the Format -> Text menu options to apply bold, italic or underline styling, change the font between serif or sans-serif, and alter the point size between the pre-selected sizes.
The last option is to be able to position the text either above or below the element it's attached to. Click inside the text tag and use the Alt and UP or DOWN arrow together to move it above or below. Currently the distance above or below the staff line is fixed, but the capability is in the software to add actions to customize the distance in future versions.